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Silver’s Gold

September 3, 2010

Livening up one of the slowest days of the year is a cover story in the Daily News that suggests that Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver might have a conflict of interest because he owns stock in blue chip companies like IBM and Pepsi. 

The first thing you do when you read the headline is say: “Huh?” 

Then you read on, trying to figure out whether there is anything there. (The answer is no.)

Then it occurs to you that a story like this just doesn’t happen. It’s not like the folks at the Daily News had this on their priority list of investigative projects and spent months ferreting out the information.

To the contrary, this is the kind of story that gets planted. But by whom? And why? 

Maybe it’s Carl Paladino. Recall that he thinks Silver is “a diabolical man.”  But it doesn’t benefit Paladino because he’s not running against Silver. So why would he do it?

Maybe it’s the good government groups whose spokespersons are quoted in the article.  These groups are pressing for greater disclosure of lawmakers’ outside income, but they haven’t made an issue of stock holdings before.

Moreover, are investments really the issue? Doesn’t everyone own everything through mutual funds? 

Maybe it’s the ghost of Joe Bruno. Remember the testimony from the big trial? Bruno was obsessed with the fact that Silver supposedly has a lucrative relationship with a trial lawyer firm. Nah. 

Maybe it’s the Assembly Republicans? Dubious. 

Chi poteva essere?

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